5 Important Facts You Should Know about Testimonials
As I set about writing a blog on this topic, I originally thought I would focus on the five most important facts about testimonials. Now, as I further organize my thoughts, I am not altogether convinced that I can keep it to a mere 5. Because it can be used in so many ways, in so many places, and for so many goals.
Let’s start with the top and most obvious five and see where it goes from there.
Testimonials Create Credibility
You can blow your own horn and talk until you are blue in the face about how great your company is. But really? How much credibility does that establish? Every company in the world is going to say they are the best at whatever it is that they do. Conversely, when a client allows you to quote them saying that you are the best, that actually carries some weight. A testimonial from the client establishes Credibility, even if the client does not allow you to use their name—more about that below.
Testimonials Define Relationships
Client testimonials also attest to the relationship you have with your clients. When you quote a client saying: “Every person we dealt with at ABC Company – from the receptionist to the CEO - was consummate professional.” That clearly establishes the professionalism that your company and the staff at your company bring to the engagement. Or, when a client writes: “John Doe at XYZ Company was always more than willing to cut me some slack because he understood how much pressure I was under to ensure the success of our project. I trusted John to help me make the right decisions.” That establishes the personal relationship of trust and understanding that exists between your team and your client’s team.
Testimonials Are Versatile
We often see a smattering of testimonials on a company Web site. That is the most common and the most obvious way to use testimonials. But those same quotes can be used again and again in so many ways, in so many places, and for so many goals. There can also be an entire page of testimonials on your site, with a separate tab on the menu bar that navigates directly to multiple testimonials. You might also consider dropping a testimonial into an email blast, either right at the top or midway down the email. Center it, bold it, italicize it, make the text a point or two larger than the body of the email so it stands out and catches the eye.
“ABC Company made our database migration look easy!”
Use a testimonial as a sidebar on a piece of collateral. Place them strategically in your blogs. Include one or two on your company’s LinkedIn profile. Tweet a testimonial. Print a short client quote on the back of your business cards. Incorporate testimonials into your business proposals. Include them in your newsletters.
There Is a Right Time to Ask for a Testimonial
The very best time to ask for a testimonial is: sooner than later! And yes, you must ask for it. It would be incredibly rare for a client to say: How about I write you a testimonial! We wish that would happen, but even the happiest clients do not generally make that offer. The very best time to ask is immediately upon the successful completion of a project. The longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that there could be a change in management, for example, and your primary contact may not be available for a quote. Several other factors could come into play as well. So again, ask for a testimonial right away.
Elements of a Great Testimonial
The first rule is that it should be specific. An example of a poor testimonial would be a generalized quote, such as: “ABC Company did a great job.” A great job of what??? It would be far better to have a specific quote such as: “ABC Company did a fantastic job for us when we moved from an on-premise Microsoft Dynamics solution to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud.” It would even be nice to have a further qualifier, such as: “The transition was smoother than we expected. Not a single hitch!”
Wouldn’t that be lovely?!
The testimonial then needs to be attributed to someone. This is often an obstacle to obtaining a quote. Some companies require a review by their legal team, and that can be thorny. Also, some people just want their names used. All too frequently, this means that you won’t get the testimonial that you want.
Sure, the best option would be: James Madison, CFO, ABC Company, Atlantic City, NJ But it’s perfectly fine to make it easy with an attribution like this one: CFO, Manufacturing Company, Atlantic City, NJ
You don’t have to use the person’s name or the company name. At least you have a title and the added plus of industry, which highlights an area of your expertise. All without using either a person or a company name. It’s a win-win. So go for it!
Last but not least, if obtaining a testimonial is proving difficult for whatever reason, offer to draft a quote for them and let them edit it to their satisfaction. And be sure to thank them.
Get those specific testimonials right away. Put them everywhere. And don’t worry if you can’t use a person or company name. It is still more than okay. You’ll have great testimonials.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 617.256.6178.
About the Author
Jon Rivers – Jon has been recognized as a pioneer within the partner channel as a digital marketing expert for his leadership in helping partners develop social brands, marketing strategies, and content to drive successful marketing campaigns.
Before starting Marketing Monarchs, Jon spent many years working in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP ecosystem system. Jon serves on various boards, including Directions North America, IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners), and CMA (Channel Marketing Alliance).